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PLO official lauds EU settlement ban as positive move for peace
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
16/07/2013
Hanan Ashrawi welcomes European Union decision labeling it "effective policy" says Israeli gov't focusing on settlements, not peace.
 
The Palestinians welcomed the EU statement and called for a total boycott of settlement products.

Mohamed Shtayyeh, a top Fatah official and Palestinian Authority negotiator, hailed the statement as an important move.

However, he said that the EU should take additional steps to exert pressure on Israel so that the peace process would be revived.

He said that the new measures should include a comprehensive boycott of settlement products and changing the way EU embassies deal with settlers – a hint that settlers should be subjected to travel restrictions.

PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi, said that the EU statement “constitutes a significant development in the way the EU countries deal with Israeli occupation.”

Ashrawi said that the EU statement would have a positive impact on peace prospects and should be seen in the context of these countries’ refusal to recognize the “legitimacy of occupation and settlements.”

She said that the Israeli government was committed more than previous governments to increasing settlement construction “at the cost of peace.”

The PA government also praised the EU statement, saying it was a preface for “halting settlement construction and ending occupation.”

The government called on the international community to take more steps to “stop Israeli violations and remove obstacles obstructing efforts to revive the peace process.”
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